Kansas defeats TCU, 64-61

  • 8 p.m., Jan. 28, 2015
  • Wilkerson-Greines Athletic Center, Fortt Worth, TX

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Worrisome win: Jayhawks’ late mistakes nearly cost them at TCU

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) fouls TCU Horned Frogs guard Kyan Anderson (5) on a three-pointer with little time remaining during the second half at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) fouls TCU Horned Frogs guard Kyan Anderson (5) on a three-pointer with little time remaining during the second half at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self: Entire game at TCU 'frustrating'

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self was far from pleased with much of anything that transpired in the Jayhawks' 64-61 win at TCU on Wednesday night.

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Box score

— Bill Self was squirming, and seething, on Kansas University’s basketball bench Wednesday night as his first-place squad suffered a meltdown of near epic proportions against last-place TCU in Wilkerson-Greines Athletic Center.

“We were awful,” Self, KU’s coach, said after the (17-3, 6-1) Jayhawks, who led by 11 points with 3:35 to play, eked out a 64-61 victory over the last-place (14-6 1-6) Horned Frogs, a win assured only when Charles Hill’s late three-point try clanged off the back iron at the buzzer.

“I don’t know if you can play less intelligently,” Self added of the final moments in which the lead slipped away.

KU led by nine with 1:40 left on the clock.

“I’ve been to the dentist and got a root canal. I may have enjoyed that slightly more than watching the last two minutes,” Self said. “It seemed we gave them every opportunity. They played well and attacked the basket ... but that’s a terrible way to close the game. Hopefully it will be a good teaching tape for us.”

Remember how happy Self was after Saturday’s victory at Texas? He was as despondent after Wednesday’s narrow “W.”

“There wasn’t any competitive juice,” Self said. “They got 26 offensive rebounds. They missed 50 shots. They got half their balls back. The guys and our team were a little full of ourselves and thinking that we are a team that can play to that level (exhibited at Texas) all the time. That’s not the case at all.”

Seeing all but three points of a 59-48 lead disintegrate will turn a coach into Scrooge rather quickly.

“The whole game was frustrating,” Self said. “I thought they played harder. They were quicker to balls. They got every 50/50 ball. They competed hard. We were fortunate they shot a low percentage (30.6 to KU’s 46.2 mark) and missed some free throws (TCU was 15 of 29; KU 13 of 20). It was a frustrating game and we were very fortunate we won.

“Not having energy, guys not being tough ... we were non-energetic and soft. That’s not a very good combination on the road,” Self added. “We were fortunate enough we made enough plays in a stretch in the second half, had enough of a gap they couldn’t quite get to us.”

KU used a Landen Lucas-led 12-0 run to erase a 43-40 deficit and grasp a 52-43 lead at 8:41. Lucas had four of his eight points and two of his three blocks in that run. KU extended the surge to 19-5 and led, 59-48.

“That was not a good energy game for us,” Self said. “We’re pretty good when we play with energy, a big drop-off when we don’t. It was a pitiful energy game for us. Four of our starters (Jamari Traylor 0, Perry Ellis 8, Wayne Selden Jr. 5, Kelly Oubre Jr. 0) combined for 13 points. Our bench scored 35 and our bench wasn’t very good. That shows how good our starters were. Every hustle play they beat us on.”

This one came down to the final possession. Frank Mason III (16 points) missed two free throws with 4.7 ticks left, TCU having a chance to tie. Hill misfired, KU electing not to foul him to send him to the line instead of launching the trey.

“In that situation, I don’t think he should have (fouled) because he (Hill) ended up hoisting a half-court shot almost. You’ve got to take chances on that,” Self said. “If we could have fouled before half-court, that’s fine. The way we rebounded, who knows if get the rebound on the free throw (with intentional miss). We were fortunate he missed.”

Self did say he and his players were at least pleased to leave with a victory that keeps KU alone atop the league standings.

“We’re always happy with a win. It was an ugly win in our eyes,” Mason said. “We can get better. We did a lot of things wrong. We’ll look at the tape and get better.”

Noted Lucas, who responded well after not playing the previous two games: “It was not the best victory but we’ll take a win. Really we got outplayed in many ways. We came out with a win, that’s all that matters. Coach warned us how good they are and can beat us. We came in and understood that.”

Of his effort, that included seven rebounds and three blocks, Lucas said: “I stay with it, practice my game when I’m not playing. Coach talked with Svi (Mykhailiuk, three points) and myself and some guys about staying ready when your number is called.”

The Jayhawks, who led by 13 the first half (23-10) had just one player to score in double figures — Mason.

“I don’t think there’s any question. I’ll say we as a coaching staff we were full of ourselves. We did play very well in Austin (Saturday),” Self said. “I’m OK with the outcome today. I’m not OK with our energy and attention to detail at all. We had guys check in the game forget to block out on a free throw. We were out of it. We were begging guys (to improve) body language, be positive, play with energy and compete. It seemed we never got there.”

KU will next meet Kansas State at 1 p.m., Saturday, in Allen.

Bumps, ailments: Kelly Oubre Jr. (no points, one assist) was “under the weather,” Self said, adding, “he didn’t get much done when he was in there.” ... Devonté Graham said he re-aggravated his turf toe injury, but did return to the game. “I’m fine,” he said.

This, that: There was a computer snafu at the game, hence the players’ minutes were not compiled correctly.

More news and notes from Kansas at TCU

By the Numbers: Kansas wins 64-61 at TCU

By the Numbers: Kansas wins 64-61 at TCU


Mike Riches 7 years, 5 months ago

I was at this game, and as we were leaving, it was hard to tell who was more disappointed, the TCU fans or the KU fans. But I much prefer a frustrating win over a heart breaking loss.

John Neyan 7 years, 5 months ago

was at the game too...haha totally agree with you. But at least i could tell a couple of horned frogs good game you'll get us next time, even though i know that will never happen. haha

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

Its just a W, not an ugly W, or a trap W, just a W. Got a little lucky to leave with a win last night.

I think we need to go 8-3 the rest of way to win or share another B12.

Not much to like about this game, we gave up way to many Off Rebounds, had lots of foul trouble. Most worrisome element was how poorly and I agree with Self, lack of intelligence we played with almost cost us this win. The last two minutes were brutal.

We have to regain our poise going forward, these next two games are going to be difficult tests for our team.

Hope we get more closer to the Austin than Ft. Worth Texas game to emulate how we play going forward!

Armen Kurdian 7 years, 5 months ago

And we think we're frustrated? Texas is 3-4 at the bottom of the B12, I'm sure they could not have imagined they'd be that far down. TCU is not a pushover, maybe call them the least best team vice the worst team in the B12. But we were tremendously lucky considering all the offensive glass they beat us on, and their 50% from the line. We totally escaped; this is a game TCU should have won.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

I agree Armen, I used the word Lucky right after the game in the live post, some took exception to that. I think a better team would have come back and tied or beat us with the way we played the last 2 minutes. We were very lucky to win that game.

Don't care its a W, I would rather be lucky than good anyway lol...

Tony Bandle 7 years, 5 months ago

Comments on the game:

1] One of the most inconsistently reffed games I have ever seen....everything from phantom fouls to six bodies simultaneously crashing into each other and no calls.

2] The game showed how much a healthy Oubre changes the team chemistry.

3] The court reminded me of the high school-like gym in Maui...without the ocean but probably plenty of sand. :)

4] Did any of guys, me included, think you would ever see Hunter, Svi and Landon on the court at the same time with more than 2 minutes left in a game??!!

5] Whoever is coaching Landon on foul shooting, please talk to the other guys as well....Landon was amazing from the line and critical for the victory.

6] Like Hot Rod said, it's a W...but my oh my, they don't get much uglier than that.

7] Something tells me the KittyKats are going to pay the price Saturday at Allen for Bill's frustration!!!!

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

1] There were refs? I thought the guys with the striped shirts on were just temp refs, like TCU's temp arena. huh.... 2] Most glaring absence we had, Selden was horrible 3] I saw it and said to family well Perry should feel right at home, bet he has a good game. 4] Svi was hoping we would see him then, Landon was must use due to fouls, Hunter is big body, a practice player wow 5]agree 7]I think you hit right on the spot Tony, I hope they crush them.

JD Roth 7 years, 5 months ago

Hunter is better than simply a practice player. That is why Self allowed him to become a Jayhawk. Anyone with basketball IQ saw glimpses of that last night.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

Well JD if he is more than a practice player when do you think he might start contributing to the team more during a game and show it? It's been 20 games so far this season and he shown very little.

I think Self, like me, was hoping we were getting the point producing, shot blocking, rebounding player we all saw at ARK. For a team in desperate need of length he cannot even get on the court first off the bench when we need a big. This is not a freshman we are talking about. In 12-18 games or so he is going to be a Senior. He has been in our system 18 months. He is behind Alexander and Lucas on the bench, does not play much and has not shown anything near what was seen at ARK.

Anyone, with any amount of basketball IQ, whatever that is, would see he is going to struggle to get off the bench this year, and probably next year too.

If I could not be more clear, I strongly disagree, Hunter is a practice player for us. Wish I was wrong but there is nothing you can point to that shows that I am.

Allison Steen 7 years, 5 months ago

Regarding your 1] I have noticed all big 12 play, ku games and other teams games, that the officials have been extremely inconsistent. In general I just feel they've done a terrible job. If they're calling them tight or letting players get away with anything, you can adjust to that. The inconsistency drives me mad. Even the announcers were talking about it.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

With regards to you first point regarding the officials:

This was the kind of game that can bring out the conspiracy fears that "the fix is in" when those two quick fouls were called on a hot Ellis. Those fears were hardly resolved because a terribly called game contributed to taking alot of the hustle out of our players.

That is hardly an excuse for not handling their pressure better, really dumb plays (Selden's charge) and Mason's two missed FTs to ice the game. Nevertheless, TCU beat the spread.

Benz Junque 7 years, 5 months ago

TCU is I think second in the nation in free throw attempts so them drawing a bunch of fouls is to be expected. Perry and other bigs getting fouls on[pointless hedges 40 feet from the rim was mind boggling stupid. The more aggressive team usually gets more calls and TCU was easily the more aggressive team last night. Too many dumb fouls by KU got themselves in trouble.

And refs are inconsistent in every game in every conference. It should be considered consistent now it happens with such regularity. To expect other wise is foolish. I consider it a pleasant surprise when a game ends and I don't think the refs sucked one way or the other. KU has benefited from sucky ref calls more than they have been penalized by it overall so I don't sweat it.

Russ McCaig 7 years, 5 months ago

I kept stating that they (TCU) were getting the foul calls and we were not...however, what I realized was that when they went to the rim, or made a post move, they moved TOWARDS the rim and initiated contact; most of our post moves are/were moves AWAY from the rim to avoid contact...and regarding the traps, why is it that everyone wants to 'jump' and make a pass, rather than protect the ball and step thru the double team...much more likely to draw foul than throw the ball away....we are WAY better than that: from an athleticism and coaching standpoint....ERRRRR!

Tom Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

Ellis' second foul, in particular, was just him playing with a lack of intelligence. Both calls appeared to be correct.

People who whine about conspiracies regarding officiating are to be ignored in general.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 5 months ago

I am glad we managed to get out of here with a W. Let there be no doubt about that. But at the same time I'm almost embarrassed to accept the W. We just went through the motions for the most part, we were sluggish, we had no sense of urgency, and worst of all, we didn't have the "want-to" tonight that we had against Texas. The Frogs had 26 - TWENTY-FREAKING-SIX - offensive rebounds. They got to most of the 50-50 balls. They wanted to win more than we did.

On another note, I can't believe tonight's officials can look themselves in the mirror after the horrific job they did tonight. Is it that much to ask of Bob Bowlsby to send a competent group of refs to officiate a basketball game?

Benz Junque 7 years, 5 months ago

Ask ISU fans if they would take a win in a road game @Texas Tech where they were sluggish, had no sense of urgency and didn't have the "want-to" that they had in their game against Kansas.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

The pressure TCU put on us the last few minutes is a good preview of what WVa will show the entire game. Graham's re-aggravated turf toe was probably the worst news of the night. Self has got to do something about Selden at the 2. If Graham is injured, hopefully he can give Mykailiuk another extended look at that position.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

Selden is a bench player right now, he looks lost and has trouble contributing on OF. It is not as glaring when KO is playing well, but he has regressed.

Graham's toe is bad news if he reinjured it. We are not the same team when he is not playing.

We might have 20+ TO in the WV game. Man that was hard to watch.

Tom Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

The only reason I'm worried about WVU's style is because our first game against them is a Big Monday after a Saturday game, so we won't have much prep time.

I assume that Self is spending some time on press breaking in the weeks before those WVU games. His teams have typically destroyed gimmick defenses like these by punishing them.

I was a lot more worried about the Mountaineers before we got Graham back than I am now. The defense is designed to wear teams down, but we're actually a very deep team. I think you'll see a lot of Frank and Devonte out there together and I think you'll see a lot of layups by the guys in crimson and blue.

That said, I could still see us losing at their place. Huggins is a good coach, and that's a good team.

Tom Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

It is what it is. A win.

Win the next two and you can plan on a share of the league title at least.

And they're both at home.

Harlan Hobbs 7 years, 5 months ago

You are right about West Virginia. They are the team that worries me the most with their pressure defense.

Robert Brown 7 years, 5 months ago

With this team, in this league, you really can't assume a win in any road location. I have always stated that the model to win or share then conference title is to go undefeated at home and win at least five road games. I think 14-4 will at least win a shade of the title.

I always assumed wins at Tech and TCU. Ask ISU how the Tech road game turned out.

I think if we win the next two games, we are in decent shape. If I pencil in a road win at Tech, that means we have to win one other road game at either OU, OSU, KSU or WVU to get to five road wins.

WVU a does concern me, but if we beat them at home we should be OK.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

Saw this interesting factoid on the ESPN site. Perhaps this explains when Kenpom ranks Kansas second on the "luck" metric. Rather than relying of being lucky rather than good, Kansas has shown we can be excellent. If we can combine good play with luck, this can be our year.

"Kansas ranks 69th in net efficiency - every other team in the BPI top 10 ranks in the top 20. Kansas still ranks in the top 10 in BPI, though, because it has played the second-hardest schedule in the nation, behind Georgetown. Kansas has eight wins against BPI top 50 opponents, most in Division 1."

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 5 months ago

I’ll take luck any day. IMO any team that wins a championship needs first and foremost be good enough to put themselves in a position to win and, a little luck. Don’t know how he calculates it but High Point is highest in the luck factor yet they are ranked 139th.

SOS is impressive but absent in that stat is the strength of effort we face in every conference opponent.

Benz Junque 7 years, 5 months ago

And to address the title of this article, NO this was not a worrisome win. ISU played an identical game to this when they went to Texas Tech. The players were flat and didn't play with energy or intelligence. The crowd was flat and made the environment even more stale. The only difference was that KU did enough to win while ISU did not. Winning games like this count just the same towards the conference title. Does anyone think that KU will come home and play just as flat in AFH against K-State with their crowd going crazy? Not worried about that one bit. Just like the tourney, survive and advance.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 5 months ago

Seems we did everything we could to lose and still managed a W. Must have been the crowd noise.

Steve Corder 7 years, 5 months ago

The development of Mason is phenomenal.

The whole evening was out of sync. No energy in the prairie, high school like gym with hardly 500 TCU students. Poor officiating. Inconsistent play all round (TCU too) which was displayed by a lack of preparedness & poise against the press.

But as stated above, it's a W and in the conference it is about surviving and advancing. The game will prove to be a valuable experience for this young team. A good win.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 5 months ago

If only he had closed it out with those 2 free throws.

Robert Brock 7 years, 5 months ago

Once again, our veteran "star", Perry Ellis, was unable to deal with physical players of equal size. And they were dog meat. K-State May tar and feather PE.

Jeff Darby 7 years, 5 months ago

I have a serious question. Why isn't Alexander getting more playing time? I don't have a trained eye and I respect the insights of a lot of posters on this site. Is it his defense, and if so, what about it is he struggling with? Is he not doing things on offense that I don't notice like setting good screens, blocking out, staying active to get open for shots, etc.? Is it his conditioning? Is it a little bit of everything? To my untrained eye, it seems like he usually provides us a spark and rebounds and scores in bunches. Please enlighten me...

Jonathan Briles 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm not a basketball expert by any means, but since no one has answered your question I'll give my input and you can take it with as many grains of salt as you desire. Alexander is not getting more playing time because of his inconsistency. He has an unrelenting motor one game and then a sputtering one the next. He has a few flaws in his game and when he is bursting with energy it can cover them up because he is going hard for rebounds and running the floor and searching for slams. When he is not bursting with energy he has trouble rotating and closing out on defense which creates easy baskets and poor fouls. He also gets into a one track mind on offense and is not an elite passer so gets himself into trouble down low creating blocked shots, poor shots, or turnovers. He has a ton of athleticism, but lacks the refinement of his skills to be a big minute kind of guy at this time. He is learning and will develop into a heck of a player, but when he is not giving all his energy you can really see the inefficiencies of his game and thus Self puts him on the bench. With time and more consistent effort he will be a big time guy for us, but for now he is a toss up game to game.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

Jonathan has hit on most of why Cliff does not play more. If you look at his play he has a few flaws. In just about every game he misses assignments, or misplays his man or does not understand his position on a play.

In addition he does not understand nuances with the college game. Early in the season he almost got Greene killed, really, by not calling out a screen his man was setting and Greene ran into the guy under full steam in the backcourt. Another he was standing under the basket but had lost sight of the ball and his man, he turned in the post, to find the ball, it was behind him as was his man and they made an easy layup.

It is happening less, but in truth it is still happening. When you add this to a poor motor, taking plays or defense off, it explains why Self holds him out and does not start him.

He had an early issue with missing a tutor I think too, but have not seen anything recently.

Bob Bailey 7 years, 5 months ago

Saw a few better games, and maybe ref problems are everywhere. But Big XII is way beyond the worst. Seems they have instructions to call a tight game, but they don't even let the players play. It needs to be solved at the league level!

Mike Riches 7 years, 5 months ago

The officiating was bad, but none of the refs grabbed any of the 22 offensive boards for TCU. There is simply no excuse for that. One of the many things I expect to be tightened up by Saturday.

Roger Ortega 7 years, 5 months ago

Definitely worried about WV after seeing the way we handled TCU's pressure defense at the end of the game. I'm hopin it's just because we didn't expect the press that we bobbled it up so bad. I'm hoping that when we play Huggins' squad we are more than prepared for their defense. That's down the road. Up next we gotta defend the Phog and give KSU their 4th Big 12 loss.

Freddie Garza 7 years, 5 months ago

Upon further review of the final 3 minutes of last nights game, I've got a few takeaways:

  1. Two of TCU's players were employing defensive strategy that was based on Judo.

  2. Two OTHER TCU players were employing obvious Jiu-Jitsu techniques in THEIR defensive approach.

  3. The 3rd, Kyan Anderson, really wasn't employing much of a defensive approach at all.

These refs were atrocious. I sat there and watched Brannen Greene get shoved into the stands with two hands while he was going for a loose ball. If the refs had done their jobs, it wouldn't have been this close.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 5 months ago

There were plenty of times that KU shoved TCU players and got away with it as well. I think it's inaccurate to say the officiating was one-sided in TCU's favor; it was just terrible all the way around.

Freddie Garza 7 years, 4 months ago

Well, I think that it's just faux paus to criticize officiating in this day and age. Yes, the game was ugly and OVERLY physical throughout for both teams, but specifically the last 3 minutes, it reached a new level, and that WAS one sided. That trap at halfcourt where Mason turned the ball over...that was an obvious foul. The inbounds play before that where we had to call a timeout because we couldn't get it in...there were a COUPLE of fouls on that possession that TCU could have gotten called on.

Of course, had the ball simply been inbounded in the backcourt instead of right next to the half court line, the whole turnover could have been avoided. But those last 3 minutes were rough, TCU easily could have had a few more guys foul out. If you take those last 3 minutes out, KU had been called for WAY more fouls than TCU. I just think the refs were trying to make it up to them for the perceived slight in their West Virginia game.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 5 months ago

"We’ll look at the tape and get better."

How does looking at a tape explain fouling someone in the last two minutes when you have a big lead and he's going in for a layup? And that wasn't a freshman, it was Selden. (I was thinking "Don't do it, don't do it," as the TCU player was going in for the layup, yet I just KNEW that someone was going to foul him there.) In fact, even a freshman should know not to do that. I'm constantly amazed at how often players commit stupid fouls when their team is ahead in the late-going -- another example is Mason's foul on the 3-pointer.

The combo of inexcusable fouls, missing loads of free throws (including three front ends of one-and-ones), and not being able to hold onto the ball against pressure defense is very worrisome.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 5 months ago

5 missed free throws, 2 turnovers and 3 fouls with less than 2 minutes to play when we are up by 9. I’m still shaking my head.

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